Thursday, March 29 2012 - 2:47 pm

We are only a couple of weeks into the session but things are really happening at a quick pace.

I know that many of you are keeping track of the progress of the education reform bills.  Some of these bills have passed the Senate and some have passed the House.  The thing that amazes me most is the misinformation being proliferated by the opponents of the bills.  Most of the bills have been amended to protect local districts and to require some degree of accountability on the part of participating systems and schools.  The support of the business community across the state has been overwhelming, and business leaders are actually demanding change in the dismal educational system we currently have.  Chambers of Commerce, Business Councils, the Committee of 100, Blueprint Louisiana, the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) are all clamoring for the changes proposed by Gov. Jindal and are adamant about their expectations of this Legislature.  One thing you can do is contact your School Board members and let them know you are in favor of the changes necessary to take this state to a new place in education and ask them to support Gov. Jindal's proposal.

As these bills work their way through the process, the state's fiscal condition will begin to take center stage.  The bad news is that the state is not producing the revenues projected by the Revenue Estimating Conference.  This means two things:  First, the current year budget, which ends on June 30,  may have a large deficit.  This deficit must be taken care of in a period of just a few months, which will require more cuts before June 30.  Second, the deficit projected for the new fiscal year starting on July 1, will be substantially larger than is anticipated right now.

I will keep you posted on what is going on in Baton Rouge.  We’re all working hard at the Capitol, and it remains a great honor to serve you.

Please get involved.